Late last year I posted a tutorial on creating Google motion charts with your data. These very cool charts work with your time-series data, stored in Google Docs, to create an animation with the power to convey a lot of information in an easily understandable form.
But what about private data? You may not want to rely on Google’s ability to password-protect your data, or the privacy provisions you work with may prohibit posting data to an outside server.
Here’s another way to take advantage of motion charts. I was put onto this by Trevor Skillen, President and CEO of Metasoft, in Vancouver BC, whose company is working on incorporating motion charts into their well-known FoundationSearch product.
This version uses stored code to manipulate your data locally, rather than pulling it from Google Docs.
The advantages are clear:
- Your data is stored locally and the code is executed locally, in the browser – nothing is sent to Google.
- You gain precise control over the appearance – you can hide options that the user doesn’t need to see.
- The example code provided by Google is fairly easy to modify without requiring programming or scripting skills.
Trevor directed me to Google’s ‘playground’ where one can get a quick feel for the technology without much tech effort.
There is a downside … there is a good deal of manual coding you’ll have to do if you want to put a chart together using your own data. This limits you to fairly simple charts – unless you’re capable of writing the additional code that will allow the chart to get data from a file or table.